Jamil Saghir|-Privatization is critical to structural reform in most countries. It refers to the shift from government provision of functions and services to provision by the private sector. As the debate on privatization of public utilities is engaging, Lebanon should learn from the extensive worldwide experience in this area by (1) identifying the underlying objectives to be served; (2) striking the right balance between regulation, privatization and liberalization of a public service; and (3) laying down transparent institutional, regulatory and procurement processes. A recent interesting study by Albert Kostanian assessed the benefits and risks associated with the privatization of selected state-owned enterprises in Lebanon and quantified the value of selected SOEs. The gross revenue potential for the government from privatizations could range between $6 billion considering a realistic privatization program and $13 billion in a comprehensive scenario.
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